Son Marroig: an emblematic mansion of Archduke Luis Salvador

The Son Marroig 'posesin' is an emblematic mansion in the mountains on the northern part of the island of Majorca in the picturesque municipality of Dei. The mansion houses the small Archduke Luis Salvador Museum, created in 1929 by Antoni Ribas Prats. The museum exhibits mementos of Archduke Luis Salvador's stay on the island as well as paintings by Joan Bau, Joaquim Mir and Ribas himself. An exhibition of Phoenician, Greek and Roman ceramics and Hispano-Arabic plates complete the collection. Son Marroig is located between the municipality of Valldemossa and the municipality of Dei. It is classified as a Property of Cultural Interest in the category of Historic Locations. In the incomparable setting of Austria's Archduke Luis Salvador's ancient lands.

Son Marroig, the same as its neighbouring possessi' Miramar, in the municipality of Valldemossa, is one of the properties which Austria's Archduke Luis Salvador (1847-1915) bought after he fell in love with the landscape of the northern coast of Majorca.

Discoverer of the Balearic Islands, globetrotter and writer of travel books, among many other things, Luis Salvador, Archduke of Hapsburg, Lorraine and Bourbon gave the islands the literary work Die Balearen.

On 4th August 1847, Luis Salvador of Hapsburg-Lorraine and Bourbon was born in Florence. From a very early age he started to travel and to write about his journeys. He first arrived on the island in 1867, when he was only twenty years of age. Son Marroig was restored by the archduke, although he kept the 15th Century fortified tower, building Italian style extensions on the house which today are a architectural jewel. As part of the restoration work he had a small neo-classic bandstand built in Carrara marble. This building looks over Sa Foradada point and on clear days the island of 'Sa Dragonera' can be seen.

On the death of the Archduke, the estate passed to his secretary, the Majorcan, Antoni Vives, and in 1928 the modern day museum was set up bringing together objects and mementos of Luis Salvador, a collection of ceramics and a 19th Century Majorcan painting as we have mentioned previously.

Nowadays, there still remains a lot of evidence of the archduke's stay on the island. Son Marroig was not his only property purchase on the northern coast of Majorca, he also purchased Miramar, Son Galcern, Son Moragues, Son Ferrandell, Son Gual, Son Gallard, sa Font Figuera , sa Pedrissa, Can Costa and many other estates which today are part of the archduke route which many excursionists follow continually all year round.

His residence at Son Marroig is nowadays a converted museum and concert hall (it has held the Dei International Festival dedicated to chamber music annually since 1978), the Son Moragues estate is now an emblematic Majorcan cuisine restaurant. The S'Estaca country house, which is closed to the public, was the one time residence of the Archduke which he shared with Catalina Homar, the official administrator of his wealth. The current owner of this estate with its Moorish architecture is the Hollywood star Michael Douglas, all the outside areas, unlike the house itself, are visitable as part of the Archduke route.

The 'posesin' can be visited from Monday to Saturday, the entrance fee is 3 Euros. Permission may also be granted for you to be able to follow the approximately 3.5 km lane to Sa Foradada. Lastly, it must be mentioned that right near the house, on top of a cliff, there is a small restaurant with spectacular views over Sa Foradada.

Related Articles:
Majorca / Valldemossa - The Archduke route / Serra de Tramuntana
Majorca / Deia - The house museum of the poet Robert Graves.
Majorca - Charming beauty spots in the North coast of Majorca

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